Audiences from Key West to Boca Raton for the fourth year may see new plays in development by area playwrights for free through the South Florida Theatre League’s Summer Theatre Fest.
Every Monday from June 8 to August 31, except July 4, a League member theatre will host a free reading of a new play. Playwrights range from established local favorites, including Carbonell Award-winners and nominees, to emerging talents, with plays vastly ranging in subject matter and style. Sometimes more than one play is offered at different venues on the same evening.
“It’s a great to see so many new playwrights participating in Summer Theatre Fest,” saids Carol Kassie, the League’s president. “We’re becoming an incubator for new plays. Glenn Hutchinson’s The Pot had a reading in our inaugural Summer Theatre Fest and has gone on to multiple productions.”
“And our audiences have grown as well,” she continued. We’ve seen full theatres – which is always exciting – and a good number of patrons who attend multiple readings. We’ve also found that patrons who attend a reading a particular theatre often return to that theatre to attend a paid performance. So we consider the program a great success on both sides of the footlights.”
For more details about Summer Theatre Fest 2016, visit www.southfloridatheatre.com.
June 8 – Entertain/Local – A Celebration of 21 Years of Working With Local Playwrights / 7 p.m. City Theatre at the Arsht Center, Miami /// Summer Theatre Fest public launch. Come early or stay late for happy hour at Books & Books with ½ price drinks and snacks.
June 13 – Thirteen is Murder / 7 p.m. Mystery on the Menu at Andrews Living Arts Studio, Fort Lauderdale // ACT ONE — The Thirteenth Vote: A one woman interactive murder mystery featuring Barbara Fox and several members of the audience who will read the parts of the different characters competing for the nomination for president. ACT TWO — Five different ten-minute mysteries by local playwrights, all having to do with the number thirteen.
Faust: A Gay Romantic Comedy by Vyvian Figueredo / 8 p.m. Lost Girls Theatre at the Deering Estate, Miami /// Faust is a young gay man still living with his mother and doesn’t have a car. All he really wants is for Ben, his crush, to pay attention to him. So he makes a deal with the Devil to get Ben to like him. However, Ben is far more interested in Mephistopheles than Faust — causing an unconventional romantic comedy to ensue.
June 20 – The Goldberg Variations by Stuart Meltzer/ 7 p.m. Zoetic Stage at the Adrienne Arsht Center, Miami ///
“If I Were You” And Other Elvis Presley Songs by Leah Roth Barsanti / Time to be announced, Thinking Cap Theatre. Fort Lauderdale /// It is the Spring of 1978, and Brett and his sister Sadie still don’t feel at home in Bakersfield, California. Homesick for Tupelo, Mississippi, the town his family left two years ago, Brett has developed a secret life that’s causing him to act more and more like a sullen teenager and less and less Sadie’s old childhood playmate; but Sadie is not the type to let secrets stay hidden for long. She follows him to a clandestine clubhouse where she learns the truth: Brett has joined a club of Elvis impersonators, and is becoming more and more like “The King” by the minute. But there’s a danger in Brett’s new found obsession, one that Sadie doesn’t trust. Can she save him before he loses himself to Elvis entirely?
June 27 – A Gray Divide by Juan C. Sanchez / 7 p.m. Outre Theatre Company and Showtime Performing Arts Theatre, Boca Raton /// When Jason starts a conversation with Anna Maria about the book she’s reading, the classical play Medea, there’s an immediate connection between them. One thing leads to another and they end up at her place, discovering each other in-between bouts of heavy kissing and petting. When she suddenly remembers meeting him two years earlier at a party — and the circumstances of that meeting — the romance comes to an abrupt end. With elements of the Medea myth woven into the story, the play asks if we have the right to decide who we are and want to become, or whether we are only the sum of our experiences and forever tied to them.
July 11- The Return by Bob Bowersox / 7 p.m. Theatre XP at the Red Barn Theatre. Key West /// Venerable World News Network anchorman David Steele announces at the end of his Friday night broadcast that while they have known him as David Steele for the past 35 years, he is actually the returned Jesus Christ of Nazareth, here to fix up the problems Mankind has created. Needless to say, all hell breaks loose. So to speak.
July 18 – The Ballad of Janis Mathews and the Dodo Scouts by Giancarlo Rodaz and Rachel Dean/ Time to be announced, Area Stage, Miami ///
July 25 – Stet by Kim Davies / 7 p.m. Arts Garage, Delray Beach /// Journalistic ethics are called into question as Rolling Stone magazine jumps the gun on a story involving a fraternity’s savage attack on a college student. Cast includes Elizabeth Price, Clay Cartland, Connie Fernandez, Jacqueline Laggy and Peter Librach.
August 1 – At the End of the Exodus by Hannah Benetiz / 8 p.m. Main Street Players, Miami Gardens /// A multi-generational and multi-cultural family forced together on three major holidays, unified by a tragedy. A dark comedy about the American experience.
August 8 – The Sword Bride by Cynthia Joyce Clay / 8 p.m. Storycrafter Studio, North Miami
August 15 — Merde De Canard by Ken Kurtz / 7:30 p.m. GableStage, Coral Gables /// The focus is on Jacques de Vaucanson, whose wondrous mechanical creations — especially the famous shitting duck — delighted Parisians of the mid-eighteenth century, and foreshadowed the workings of modern computers. There are mistaken identities, lovelorn chases, sex desired but never obtained, and a randy robot running amuck. A farce-comedy, based on the unflappable yet unpredictable logic of automatons.
Another play to be announced / Island City Stage and City Theatre
August 22 — Psycho and Dummy by Cliff Burgess / 7:30 p.m. Mad Cat Theatre at MTC, Miami Shores /// Two duffle bags crammed with cash. Two guns gripped in the palms of sweaty hands. Two masks hiding the faces of two amateur criminals who attempt to rob a bank, trap themselves in the bank vault and slowly tear each other apart. Two brothers forced to deal with past resentment, pain and unfinished family business. Who are they? They are Psycho and Dummy.
Three Man by Todd Bruno / 8 p.m. Evening Star Productions, Boca Raton /// Tom and Dill are best friends and roommates, trying to navigate the complicated world of modern relationships. Tom wants a stable woman with a good head on her shoulders, while Dill craves excitement and distraction. Both men get more than they bargained for when Dill invites Vicki and Dee to play a drinking game one night. Tom is immediately entranced by Vicki, the girl-next-door who harbors a secret. Dill gravitates to the boisterous Dee, whose overpowering personality forces him to face the exact issue he wants desperately to avoid. Relationships are torn to shreds, as Tom is drawn deeper and deeper into Vicki’s abyss, and Dee drives Dill into self-imposed exile, leaving everyone wishing they could shove the genie right back into the bottle.
August 29 — Stages of the Sun: Readings of Plays by South Florida Theatre League Playwrights / Time to be announced, Miramar Cultural Center /// Eight short plays by League playwrights.